I remember when I’d have to acknowledge to myself that the struggle is real, and therefore my attitude should be real, as well. So I shifted to a proper attitude towards living with a mental health condition, or conditions (or whatever you prefer calling it).
Technically, a therapist can diagnose me with the following: obsessive compulsive disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, anxiety, and depression. It’s possible that I would even have symptoms of another condition as well, although all are related to the same ocd and ocpd symptoms. Personally, I believe that ocd is my “foundational” condition- the others are based on it.
That’s a lot of conditions (!). But it’s the truth- regardless of whether I had thought a while ago that it’s “freakish” or not true, and regardless of whether that might seem like attention-seeking or “martyr-searching” in nature.
There are several negatives of so many different classifications when it comes to mental health conditions. First, it’s hard for me to believe that all these “conditions” are really different. If my depression results from me suffering from ocd symptoms, that cannot be “depression” necessarily, can it? Some people are quite depressed but cannot easily determine why that is.
Second, I think it creates too much negativity and is actually quite confusing. If I go to a therapist for help, and they respond to me that I have this, this, this, and this, how will I feel?
It seems counter-intuitive. Analyze my different struggles, sure- although address my struggles with a specific therapy that would help.
Although that last sentence is how I feel, it isn’t reality. The reality is a therapist might help me with more than one type of therapy. But my point is, with much terminology and “different” conditions, how many does it take until things seem too complex or demoralizing?
At the same time, there are a number of benefits of so many diagnoses. For example, ocd and ocpd are quite different. It helps tremendously to identify these symptoms in order to treat them. The analogy could be said, having more than one condition is like having several different personality traits. You can have many traits although still be the same person- in other words, what makes you, you.
It doesn’t feel quite right to say I have different conditions, because in reality it’s mental health struggles. While those struggles aren’t simple, I can relate to anyone else who has been anxious, or depressed, or suffered from other mental health conditions. There seems to be a common denominator for people who’ve experienced this.
These are my opinions on whether it helps or hurts to have a number of different diagnoses for similar conditions. At the end of the day, how do we help people live at their maximum mental health levels?
I’ve wrote a bit, and there’s probably a lot more to be said on this by others. While there are many diagnoses, this is only one opinion.